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1938 Cathleen M. 2021

Cathleen M. (Fallon) Crowley

September 17, 1938 — December 10, 2021

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WORCESTER – Cathleen M. (Fallon) Crowley, 83, passed away Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in her home surrounded by her loving family. Cathleen was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Worcester, the daughter of the late Dr. John Michael Fallon and the late Frances (Lohbauer) Fallon. Her husband James C. Crowley Sr. predeceased her in 1994.

Cathleen grew up in Shrewsbury and was an athlete in a time when there were no teams for girls. She pretended she was a boy to play on a local baseball team but got caught. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 1956 and Marymount College (Va.) in 1960 and studied physical education at Boston University. She worked as a secretary at State Mutual in Worcester.

She left the workforce to start a family in 1962 and quickly became the hardest working mom to five unruly boys – born within six years – and one daughter who arrived a little later. She was a strong force to reckon with, and all her children and grandchildren laugh today over her tough love. Cathleen was spunky, no-nonsense, caring, and selfless to those she let into her life. Cathleen always put others' needs before her own.

Cathleen's dream of playing on a team came true through her daughter. Cathleen coached Jesse Burkett Little League's "Alan Corp" softball team from 1980 to 1984, taking the team from last place to city-wide champions. She nearly broke her hip teaching the girls to slide into second base.

Cathleen earned a certificate in speedwriting shorthand and worked at Worcester Magazine in the early 1980s taking personal classified ads. Cathleen worked at Tatnuck Postal and Business Center, a shipping business owned by her son Kevin, from 1992 to 2000. Cathleen greeted customers with a sharp, "Can I help?" Some customers asked if the "nice young man" was available, and Cathleen advised them she was the mother of the nice young man and they'd have to deal with her.

She served on the board of the Botany Bay Condominium Association for several years and fought for transparency and better communication.
Cathleen would get up at the crack of dawn to start her day race-walking three miles through the streets of Worcester, and then she would be off to play in her golf league, tend her garden, and go to as many of her grandchildren's sporting events as possible. She was a master at efficiency, whether it was a five-ingredient recipe or driving shortcuts through the city of Worcester. She came from a generation that instilled frugality, resulting in homemade contraptions like an earring storage device made from a square of window screen stretched between two bamboo sticks.

Cathleen was affectionately known as Mrs. Crowley to most, even the spouses of her children, until the grandchildren came along and she became Grandme.
She loved golfing with her friends, who quickly learned there was no need to worry because Cathie would worry for you. Cathleen built a network of friends in her condo complex and would gather them for movie dates, lunches on the porch, or pandemic cocktails in the driveway. She hosted her last gathering just weeks ago, drinking her favorite white wine with ice. She loved gardening and tamed and mulched a patch of wild forest behind her condo, surviving many bouts of poison ivy. She also loved mailing newspaper clips to her children and grandchildren with tips like how to ask for a raise or the best way to clean tough stains.
Her children and grandchildren were her greatest joy. She was incredibly proud of the amazing fathers her sons had become–much to her surprise–and she was particularly awed by her granddaughters, whose athletic and career achievements are exactly what she had wished for herself.

She was the loving mother to James C. Crowley Jr. and his wife Connie of Worcester, John E. Crowley of Leicester, Kevin M. Crowley and his wife Kathleen of Worcester, Brian F. Crowley and his wife Hilary of Dover, N.H., Edward D. Crowley and his wife Lee of Westborough, Cathleen F. (Crowley) Denbeaux and her husband Gregory of Albany, N.Y., and a special nephew Henry Dormitzer and his wife Jessica of Wellesley. She is survived by her grandchildren James, Fallon, Athena, Samantha, Rachel, Conor, Shamus, Julia, William, Wyeth, Hannah, Cavan and Matthew Crowley; Annah Denbeaux; and Anna and Ella Dormitzer.

Cathleen is predeceased by her sister Francella (Fallon) Dormitzer and niece Ellen Dormitzer, and brothers John S. and Michael F. Fallon. Cathleen is survived by brothers Peter M. and William C.M. Fallon, and many nieces and nephews.

Cathleen and her family are incredibly grateful to Connie and Athena Crowley, who cared for Mom/Gram so lovingly and unselfishly in the last months of her life.

A Funeral Mass to celebrate Cathleen's life will be held Friday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. at St. John's Church, 40 Temple Street. Burial will follow at St. John's Cemetery. Visiting hours are private because of COVID concerns. Cathleen's Funeral Mass will be live streamed for those who are unable to attend. The link will be available later this week.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John's Food for the Poor Program or Abby's House.

Arrangements are in the care of Callahan, Fay & Caswell Funeral Home, 61 Myrtle Street. The family would love to hear your stories about Cathleen on her tribute page at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Cathleen M. (Fallon) Crowley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Mass

Friday, December 17, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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